Jury Awards Apple $120 Million In Patent Trial, But Samsung Is The Real Winner

On paper, South Korean smartphone maker Samsung has lost another patent infringement trial filed against it by Apple, this time to the tune of $119.6 million in damages. However, that amount is no where near the $2.2 billion Apple wanted Samsung to cough up, and it's substantially less than the $930 million (reduced from $1.05 billion) awarded to Apple in a previous trial.

As to Samsung's counterclaim of patent infringement, the same jury ruled in its favor and ordered Apple to pay the company $158,400 for running afoul on a single patent -- Samsung had sought $6 million. Monetarily it would appear that Apple is the clear winner here, but this isn't what Apple had in mind.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Image Source: Flickr (TAKA@P.P.R.S)

Brian Love, assistant professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, points out to The Wall Street Journal that the damages award is "less than 10 percent of the amount Apple requested and probably doesn't surpass by too much the amount Apple spent litigating the case."

Therein lies a key point. As far as dollars and cents go, this is pretty much a wash for Apple. Even more troubling for the Cupertino outfit is that it's failing to slow down the competition in the handset market, which a much larger damages award with more instances of patent infringement could have accomplished.

Apple and Samsung
Image Source: Flickr (Janitors)

"Apple launched this litigation campaign years ago with aspirations of slowing the meteoric rise of Android phone manufacturers. It has so far failed to do so, and this case won't get it any closer," Love added.

Instead, the jury found that a few Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Nexus and Stratosphere, infringed Apple's patents for "data tapping," which allows users to dial up a phone number by tapping on it in an email. Some Samsung devices were also found to infringe Apple's "slide to unlock" and "auto-complete" patents.